All childrestraints sold in Australia must meet stringent Australian Standard AS/NZS1754requirements, considered among the toughest in the world. If fitted and usedproperly, any can be expected to provide very good crash protection for yourchild.There is aserious situation that I want to address as car seat manufacturers and thestandard committee for AS/NZS1754 have chosen to ignore it.Babies asyoung as 12months can press the red actuation button on the quick releasedevice to release the harness attached to provide protection.There is ameasurement of force used to test the buckles. The pressure required to releasethe harness can be anywhere between 4N-8N (N=Newtons). This means there is avariance in all car seats sold and no indication to consumers on what the forcefor their buckle is. I am aware that there are some buckles that even someadults struggle to press however in a situation as serious as this I cannotaccept ‘some’ as being good enough. A baby thisage is too young to understand the concept of dangerA baby thisage is learning through imitation.As parents we drive around with ourbabies in the car every single day and it is important that we do this withoutdistractions.
When my daughter, Lilli was only16months, she was able to release herself from her car restraint by pressingthe red actuation button and 2 months later was a professional escapee. Thefirst time this happened, I was driving in busy traffic. I looked in my rearvision mirror to see an empty car restraint. Lilli was unbuckled and ended upon the floor. There was nowhere for me to pull over to put her back in her seatwhich left me driving in busy traffic with Lilli on the floor of the car. Thiswas a very frightening situation as it continued to occur.
In contacting the manufacturer, Iwas advised to clean the buckle with hot water. This did not fix the situationand was not effective in providing a solution to this urgent problem. Throughresearch and talking to other parents, I became aware that I was far from theonly one experiencing this problem. There was nothing at thistime available to cover the Red button so parents were choosing othermethods to do so. These include wrapping fabric and tying knots over the buttonand, also to un-stitch the buckle, turn it so the red button faces the baby andre-stitch it. This is something many parents struggle with and it puts all roadusers at risk as it causes a driver to become distracted.
It is logical to introduce auniversal product that emergency workers and the general public could becomefamiliar with.
I have developed a product calledBuckle Guard which is a patented design to assist people driving with theirbabies so that this does not happen to them and cause injury to their baby. Itprovides a safe, simple and effective solution to this serious situation.
Does anyone else think this is a problem that should not go ignored....